ERIC Number: EJ920814
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Some Memories Are Odder than Others: Judgments of Episodic Oddity Violate Known Decision Rules
O'Connor, Akira R.; Guhl, Emily N.; Cox, Justin C.; Dobbins, Ian G.
Journal of Memory and Language, v64 n4 p299-315 May 2011
Current decision models of recognition memory are based almost entirely on one paradigm, single item old/new judgments accompanied by confidence ratings. This task results in receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) that are well fit by both signal-detection and dual-process models. Here we examine an entirely new recognition task, the judgment of episodic oddity, whereby participants select the mnemonically odd members of triplets (e.g., a new item hidden among two studied items). Using the only two known signal-detection rules of oddity judgment derived from the sensory perception literature, the unequal variance signal-detection model predicted that an old item among two new items would be easier to discover than a new item among two old items. In contrast, four separate empirical studies demonstrated the reverse pattern: triplets with two old items were the easiest to resolve. This finding was anticipated by the dual-process approach as the presence of two old items affords the greatest opportunity for recollection. Furthermore, a bootstrap-fed Monte Carlo procedure using two independent datasets demonstrated that the dual-process parameters typically observed during single item recognition correctly predict the current oddity findings, whereas unequal variance signal-detection parameters do not. Episodic oddity judgments represent a case where dual- and single-process predictions qualitatively diverge and the findings demonstrate that novelty is "odder" than familiarity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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